Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We are inextricably linked with the whole world - We cannot be isolationist!

All actions of the state are those of telling anyone outside these shores who says or does something we do not agree with to go to hell!!

This sort of behavior is very dangerous, as the world is too intricately interwoven with our own economy. If one looks at the dealings purely in GNP terms it is that 50% of the GNP involves either the movement of goods or services across our borders and so we cannot make enemies out of anyone we have financial transactions with unless of course we do not care if we lose that trade.

Our remittances from the Middle East is expected to top US$5Billion this year, which is a staggering amount. That is free money coming to the economy, where the workers who are remitting it are actually overseas, and therefore are not even consuming food grown in this country. So this money does not have to have any value addition unlike in the case of Garments and therefore is worth more than garments to the Economy. It is with this money that we won the war, not with any other help. These war heroes have yet to be recognized, let alone given some benefits. The problem is that it is with these people's remittance money, that our rulers are surrounding themselves with  the luxuries of un needed bullet proof vehicles and a mind numbing array of imported goods.

We are now determined to export more of our human potential and in that regard too require to have freindly relationships with all our trading neighbors. It is silly to think we need to be servile or second class to another country even to the old colonial masters. We are their equal but we act as if we are being persecuted. That is the tragedy. This reflex reaction and mudslinging does not endear Sri Lanka to its friends, and we need to take stock on what our foreign policy should be in the first place, without just committing to anti Diaspora activity alone, that wastes too much resource, unless directed professionally where it is effective.

At present the Anti Diaspora rhetoric is backfiring as we are not doing a professional job at countering their propaganda, It is insufficient to hire at great cost foreign PR consultants who have not produced the goods and who will not produce the goods either, as they clearly do not know how to represent Sri Lanka. A well trained Foreign Service will be better able to counteract this, and the use of retired foreign service professionals as consultants to train our current FS officers in the art of the PR effort will work wonders.

With this Global interdependence our inward looking leaders must change course, and take all threats seriously and try to match them intelligently. The foreign threat againt Sri Lanka is huge. It however has to be countered properly. We cannot try to save the skin of a few and hold the country to ransom as is being done by the selfish culprits who are implicated.

Be a devil, just think how much we could achieve in this country if we hand the culprits over for investigation! We are suffering because they are free to propagate lies and hate at the expense of the vast majority of the innocent citizenry of Sri Lanka.

A collective effort at cleaning up the mess, will do wonders to regain the lost moral high ground from where Sri Lanka can rebuild its status as a senior member of the United Nations, and not as a pariah !!

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